Texas State Univ. Strutters set to perform in Inaugural Parade

Parade set for 3 to 5 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

By Mark Austin - Anchor

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Texas State University Strutters of San Marcos will perform in Friday's inaugural parade in the nation's capital after the swearing in of President-elect Donald Trump.

The group of dancers, 83 strong, began planning for the event a long time ago and they have paid the price to be there.

One year ago, the process commenced to send the Strutters to the 2017 inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.

"And a lot of people told me, 'You're not going to get in. Don't get your hopes up because you're not going to get in,'" Strutters director Tammy Fife recalled.

Fife said the inauguration was an opportunity that was too good to pass up. She booked numerous performances, regardless of whether the Strutters were chosen to perform.

On Dec. 20, the word came - they were in.

"Unbelievable. I would say probably, for me, the biggest honor ever," Fife said.

Then the hard work really began with new routines and extra practices. These ladies have had to pay -- in more ways than one.

"None of our Strutter trips are school sponsored," said Fife. "Unless we travel with our athletic teams."

The cost is $2,200 per person.

"We are very much devoted and committed to the Strutters organization and Texas State," said Strutter Jackie Merrit, a junior at TSU and a graduate of Johnson High School. "We are paying our way 100 percent, and we're just really fortunate to have this opportunity."

"Words can't even begin to describe my excitement for this!" said Kamden Florence, a TSU sophomore who graduated from New Braunfels Canyon High School.

When they were told what to expect about Inauguration Day itself, they were floored.

"Just expect the biggest crowd you've ever seen and your opportunity to perform before the biggest audience ever," said Fife.

Friday afternoon, the Texas State University Strutters will march right past the White House grandstand, with head captain Laycen Watson out front to lead them. She said she would try to sneak a peek at the new president.

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